Sickening discovery in meal costs restaurant chain millions

Sickening discovery in meal costs restaurant chain millions

The Xiabu Xiabu hotpot chain saw its stock dive more than 12% this week, wiping around $190 million off its value, after a diner at one of its restaurants found a dead-and presumably well-cooked-rat in the broth, the Telegraph reports.

The woman's husband, Mr Ma, said he alerted restaurant staff to the situation and was offered cash for abortion if they were anxious about the health of the baby.

The husband, identified only as Mr. Ma by local outlet Kankan News, said a staffer had the gall to say his wife should get an abortion if she was anxious about the baby, offering over $2,000 for the procedure.

The Shandong outlet was later shut down by local authorities for investigations.

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The well-known chain, Xiabu Xiabu, was closed for an investigation by health officials after the incident occurred and stock hit the lowest level in nearly a year after news spread, the BBC reports.

The restaurant initially offered the pregnant woman compensation of 5,000 Chinese Yuan (£558) but her husband, Mr Ma insisted she had a medical examination first, according to Kankan News. Video circulated widely on social media in China, to the shock and disgust of viewers, shows the man in the eastern city of Weifang fishing the boiled rodent out of the murky broth with chopsticks. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said one user. As of Wednesday, the hotpot restaurant's market value is slowly recovering. "I can't believe this", another commented.

Ma said he and his wife went to the hospital where she had a checkup to ensure the baby was healthy. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?"

Hotpot, a bubbling Value-Added Tax of broth in which diners dip pieces of meat and other morsels, is a beloved family meal in China, especially when the weather starts to cool down. Over the years, rats falling from the ceiling and climbing up customers trousers at hot pot restaurants around China appear to have done little to diminish Chinese diners' appetite for the simmering soup.

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